On Saturday, June 2, the ninth day of the repose of Protopresbyter Valery Lukianov, Eastern American Diocesan vicar Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan paid an archpastoral visit to St. Alexander Nevsky Diocesan Cathedral in Howell, NJ, where he led the services for the departed. Greeting the hierarch upon his arrival, cathedral deal Archpriest Serge Lukianov said, in part:
"We are grateful to Your Grace for coming to join us in remembering our mentor and spiritual father, Protopresbyter Valery, on the ninth day of his repose. We as a parish feel as though we have been orphaned, as though we have lost our spiritual leader. But we know that his spirit is here, we know that he is with us. And now he is relying on our prayers for the repose of his soul, especially during these trying 40 days. Enter, Vladyka, and pray for your and our spiritual father, that the Lord might forgive him all his sins, voluntary and involuntary, and strengthen us who remain here on earth."
His Grace celebrated Divine Liturgy in the cathedral – of which Fr. Valery had served as rector until his retirement in 2014 – co-served by Archpriests Serge Lukianov (cathedral dean), Vasily Andrejuk (rector of St. Cyril of Turov Carpatho-Russian Church in Richmond Hills, NY), Rafael Melendez and Boris Slootsky (cathedral clerics), Abbot Vladimir (Zgoba; rector of the Church of our Lady "Unexpected Joy" on Staten Island, NY), Archpriests Leonid Goferman (rector of Holy Virgin Protection Church in New Brunswick, NJ) and Paul Ivanov (rector of Holy Myrrhbearers Church in Brooklyn, NY), Priest Serge Ledkovsky (deputy rector of St. Vladimir Memorial Church in Jackson, NJ), Protodeacons Nicholas Lukianov, Leonid Roschko, and Paul Drozdowski (cathedral clerics), and Deacon Pavel Roudenko (cleric of the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City).
Upon conclusion of Liturgy, a procession was held out to Fr. Valery’s gravesite behind the altar of the cathedral, where a panihida was served. Here Bishop Nicholas offered some words in Fr. Valery’s memory, saying, in part:
"On Tuesday, we served the funeral for Fr. Valery and buried him… Having received the grace of the priesthood, he drew hundreds of us in by his words, his example, his labors, leading us to God. For that, we are so very grateful to this priest, who was so close to every one of us. And how good it is that, having received grace over these past several days, we remember him as we gaze upon the icons, upon the nature surrounding us, upon the beautiful faces of the people, who throughout all these years received something from him for the salvation of their souls. Thus we continue today to commemorate him and to pray for his soul, recalling with gratitude all that he had done for us. But let us not stop there: each one of us is obligated, following after Fr. Valery’s example, to save at least one other person – by our example, by our life, by our kind words, by our faith. This will be well-pleasing to God. Fr. Valery loved nature, he loved the whole world! And each one of us must also love all that God has created for us. If we do so, I am certain that we will find peace for our souls, as well."
After the service, a memorial repast was held in the parish hall, where the clergy and faithful interacted and shared their memories of Fr. Valery.
Howell, NJ: On Ninth Day of Fr. Valery Lukianov’s Repose, Bishop Nicholas leads Services for Departed in St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral - 06/02/18
Photos: Media Office of the Eastern American Diocese - P. Lukianov